Margaret Custis Archer Clark, 84, died on Wednesday, November 20th at her home at Stonebridge in Skillman, NJ. She was pre-deceased by her husband, James W. Clark, in August. She is survived by her three daughters, Margaret Custis Clark, Susan Clark Randaccio, Archer Griffith, her five grandchildren, and her brother, Perry Archer.
Born in Bluefield, West Virginia, Custis, as she was known, grew up in Staunton, Virginia. She attended high school at Stuart Hall School and graduated from Hollins University in 1956. In her senior year, she received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for excellence of character and service to humanity, presented to graduating seniors of selected colleges and universities in the eastern United States.
Upon graduation, she moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked for the Smithsonian Institute. It was in D.C. that she met her husband, Jim, with whom shared a commitment to community service. Early in their marriage, she joined him as a volunteer with the Youth Recreation Program under the auspices of the YWCA serving the neighborhoods of South East Washington.
Upon moving to Princeton NJ in 1970, Custis focused on raising their three children and volunteering in the schools through the local PTA/PTOs. In 1980, she became the administrative assistant in the Chapel Music Department at Princeton University where she worked for 12 years. More recently, she served as the chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee for the 50-Unit condo association where she and Jim lived for a time, protecting the wonderful forest habitat that surrounded their condo complex.
Custis loved birds, dogs, gardening and time spent in the country; all interests that she has passed on to her children and grandchildren. She was very creative, crafting intricate pop-up birthday cards for her friends, as well as handmade gifts, Christmas ornaments and beautiful needlepoint.
Custis made sure that the door to the Clark family home was always open. There are many examples of her opening her home and hearth to others, including international students from Germany and Iran as well as nieces and nephews who came to live with us and attend high school, elderly neighbors needing assistance, and kids in the neighborhood who needed a sympathetic ear. All were welcome in her kitchen and in her heart.
A memorial service celebrating her life and that of her husband of 62 years, James W. Clark, will be held in Princeton N.J. on December 21, at 1:00pm at Nassau Presbyterian Church.
Memorial contributions may be made in her honor to